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Neurological Disorders - Obstetrics - Pediatrics and Child Health - Public Health and Epidemiology

Mortality, Neonatal Morbidity and Two Year Follow-Up of Extremely Preterm Infants Born in the Netherlands in 2007
Published: Monday, July 23, 2012
Author: Cornelia G. de Waal et al.

by Cornelia G. de Waal, Nynke Weisglas-Kuperus, Johannes B. van Goudoever, Frans J Walther, The NeoNed Study Group , The LNF Study Group


Extremely preterm infants are at high risk of neonatal mortality and adverse outcome. Survival rates are slowly improving, but increased survival may come at the expense of more handicaps.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Prospective population-based cohort study of all infants born at 23 to 27 weeks of gestation in the Netherlands in 2007. 276 of 345 (80%) infants were born alive. Early neonatal death occurred in 96 (34.8%) live born infants, including 61 cases of delivery room death. 29 (10.5%) infants died during the late neonatal period. Survival rates for live born infants at 23, 24, 25 and 26 weeks of gestation were 0%, 6.7%, 57.9% and 71% respectively. 43.1% of 144 surviving infants developed severe neonatal morbidity (retinopathy of prematurity grade =3, bronchopulmonary dysplasia and/or severe brain injury). At two years of age 70.6% of the children had no disability, 17.6% was mild disabled and 11.8% had a moderate-to-severe disability. Severe brain injury (p?=?0.028), retinopathy of prematurity grade =3 (p?=?0.024), low gestational age (p?=?0.019) and non-Dutch nationality of the mother (p?=?0.004) increased the risk of disability.


52% of extremely preterm infants born in the Netherlands in 2007 survived. Surviving infants had less severe neonatal morbidity compared to previous studies. At two years of age less than 30% of the infants were disabled. Disability was associated with gestational age and neonatal morbidity.